Eldersong…Finding and Celebrating Our Voice
Thanks to everyone who joined us on Tuesday, June 8 for Eldersong! If you missed it, please click on the video below and share with friends and family.
The first week of June is Seniors’ Week in Calgary.
Each artist put together a 10 minute video, including their stories and songs. Host (and street corner mayor of Music Mile) Bob Chartier and Rob Skeet from Skeeter Media do an amazing job of weaving the stories and music together into a 90 minute show.
For organizer and songwriter Bob Chartier, this project is extremely personal. “As someone who only found my voice at the age of 60, and have watched my father at 94 pick up his violin, I’m delighted that we’re reaching out to elders.” Chartier wants to inspire elders to “find that fiddle, find that guitar, and play it!”
The show is to seniors by seniors. In organizing the event Chartier says, “My main suggestion was to change the game in our community from the focus of the past decades of playing for elders to recognizing that so many elders can handle their own playing, thank you very much.”
If you are looking for ways to keep music in your life, or learn something new, we have a few suggestions:
Release your inner rock star at Cool Choir, learn something new everyday at Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners, check out the programs at Carya Village Commons on the Mile, and visit the Foothills Acoustic Music Institute, helping to build the music community for decades.
If you'd like to stay in touch with host Bob Chartier and Music Mile, please send us your thoughts, ideas and questions by clicking the contact button below.
Meet the Artists
With one foot in the past and one in the present, Doc weaves the history and the mystery of the West into his original “west-clectic” music and cowboy poetry. His spoken-word album “The Great Divide” was named “Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year” by both the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists.
In addition to five CDs of original music and cowboy poetry, Doc published his first book of cowboy poetry in 2020 (“Good Medicine-Read Two Poems and Call Me in the Morning”).
Kathy enjoys performing with Cool Choir, and her love of music comes naturally. Her family was musical, her mom played organ and dad loved all kinds of music and they had beautiful voices. All of her siblings grew up to love music and song.
Chris is seventy four years old and is having the time of his life. He has been a musician most of his life and is enjoying writing and playing music as he ages. Much of his music is geared towards the older generation. He has an album called "It Ain't Over Till It's Over." The song was written for a cancer support group. If he can inspire some seniors to become a little more active, then this project has been well worth it.
Barry's singing has woven rich, colourful
threads into the fabric of folk-style music in Alberta for more than fifty years. He engages audiences in his musical performances and gives a healthy lift to
minds, hearts and voices. Barry instructs ukulele, clawhammer banjo, and folk guitar. He was taught at age five to play the harmonica by his dad. Other instruments now include guitar, autoharp, English
concertina, and ukulele. However, to this day, Barry claims he's not able to read music well enough to
hurt his playing.
Eilis is one “proud-to -be-Canadian” for over 50 years. Her idyllic music youth was greatly enhanced on arrival in Calgary. The music scene here was wonderfully eclectic and active. Folk clubs sprang up and the folk music festival started. Add to that The Blues Can and Music Mile and this Calgary music climate continues to be such a gift. She says, "The ‘norm’ for seniors these days appears to be one of 'being entertained'. Lots of us seniors can entertain ourselves! We’ve got the songs, the energy, the rhythm, the instruments, the voices and our love of music —all we need to do is dust off all of them, find a venue, and get going!"
Kim's hometown is in Hong Kong and she immigrated to Canada in the 1970s. She has been happily learning and playing musical instruments in her spare time for the past few years. She plays all kinds of music, especially stringed instruments.
Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3 Elder, and renowned jigger